The Garda / Westmanstown Gaels GAA Club fully supports the polices put forward by the GAA, LGFA, the Camogie Association, GAA Handball Ireland and GAA Rounders of Ireland, which they have jointly agreed, regarding Child Safeguarding so as to ensure, in so far as is practicably possible, the safety of children from the risk of harm while playing for our Club and participating in our activities.
The Club in adopting such agreed documents alone will not achieve this aim. However, the continuous commitment and implementation of such good practices by our dedicated volunteers at the Club, will assist us as we seek to create a safe environment for young people in which to grow and develop. We equally rely on the role of parents in supporting our work and the vigilance of our members as we jointly pursue this aim.
Our agreed procedures will require that all coaches of underage teams or teams that include any person under 18 years of age must fulfil the following criteria;
- Undertake agreed vetting and background Garda checks.
- Attend relevant Gaelic Games Child Safeguarding training.
- Possess a coaching qualification relevant to their role as recognised by their Association.
- Our agreed policies and procedures are in accordance with current legislative requirements and include:
- The publication of a Child Safeguarding Statement which is binding on all members and units of our Associations.
- Carrying out an annual Risk Assessment procedure at Club, County and National levels.
- A Code of Behaviour (Underage) which includes;
➢ Recruitment policy for those working with children
➢ Child Safeguarding training requirements
➢ Anti-Bullying statement
➢ Social Media policy
- Guidance for Dealing with and Reporting Allegations or Concerns of Abuse.
- Appointing Designated Liaison Persons at Club.
- Appointing Children’s Officers at the Club who shall be the first point of contact in respect of
- this statement.
- My responsibilities as the Club’s Children’s Officer are to;
- Promote awareness of the joint Code of Behaviour (Underage) within the Club.
- Ensure that all persons, in accordance with their allocated roles, fulfil their vetting, child
- safeguarding and coach educational requirements as appropriate.
- Identify the need and facilitate the delivery of Child Protection in Sport Awareness Workshops
- and other relevant Child Protection and Welfare training within the Club.
- Distribute and oversee the implementation of the Code of Behaviour – when working with underage players and ensure, in so far as possible, that all Players, Coaches, Team Mentors,
- Parents, Guardians, Officials and Spectators adhere to the Code.
- Promote an Anti-Bullying ethos in the Club and deal with instances or allegations of Bullying
- in a fair, impartial and constructive manner and in collaboration with others as appropriate.
- Display the Association’s Anti Bullying Statement and ensure it is adopted at Club level.
- Ensure that each underage member signs and submits an annual membership form, a parental consent form as required (away trips etc.) and that the necessary medical information of an underage player, as deemed relevant, is made known to the Club and/or the team coaches
- Support the implementation of the RESPECT initiative at Club level in co-operation with team personnel, underage members, referees, spectators, parents/guardians and the Club Executive.
- Influence policy and practice in the Club in order to prioritise the needs of our underage players and make an annual report the Club AGM.
- Promote greater consultation with underage players and participation by them in Club activities and planning and that young people are afforded the opportunity to express concerns about their sports activities/experiences within the Club.
- Encourage the involvement of parents/guardians in organising Club activities.
- Develop good practice procedures in the recruitment and selection of persons working with
- young people in the Club.
- Retain Vetting ID documentation of Club members as part of the vetting process if required.
- Oversee the implementation of Garda Vetting/Access NI/CRB checks, as appropriate and for
- relevant personnel, within the Club.
- Monitor, in association with team coaches, any significant trends or developments relating to
- the participation of young people in Gaelic Games and report accordingly to the Club Executive
- or Management Committee.
- Maintain on-going contact with the County Board Children’s Officer and with other Club
- Children’s Officers and as required with the National Children’s Officer.
- Report regularly to the Club Executive as required.
- Deal with breaches of the Code of Behaviour (Underage) as per relevant guidelines.
- Make referrals of alleged allegations of abuse to the Club Designated Person.
- Oversee the carrying out of the annual risk assessment procedure and thereafter putting an
- agreed Child Safeguarding Statement on display in the Club.
Our Club, in common with others who work with young people and children, will continue to abide by and integrate child welfare legislation and statutory guidance into our work. In upholding this principle, the welfare of the child shall always be our paramount consideration, whether it is on the playing fields, in the training of our underage players, the recruitment of our coaches, the active involvement of parents in our work or the many other developmental and social opportunities that we offer our underage players on a daily and weekly basis.
It is the Club’s and my intension to lead by example to ensure that a user friendly and child centred approach is adopted at our Club when working with young people and that equal opportunitiesare available for all to participate in our games and activities, regardless of an individual’s ability.Our job is simple - all we have to do is help make our children the best that THEY can be and never attempt to meet our own needs and aspirations for success and achievement through ourchildren’s participation at our Club.
GAA CODE OF BEHAVIOUR - UNDERAGE
Maureen King - Children’s Officer (Interim) - Garda/Westmanstown Gaels GAA Club
Please find an update from the County Children's Officer Pauline Cullen on
Guidance for Dealing with & Reporting Allegations or Concerns of Abuse